The Gluten-free Life

When people first hear that I’m gluten-free, they look at me with horror. “But… what about cake?” they gasp, in fear.

Nope. No cake.

There are a lot of things I can’t have anymore – some of the more unusual picks include sausages, steak sauce and most kinds of porridge – and this seems to baffle most.

Here’s the thing – gluten makes me ill. Therefore, I don’t eat gluten. Simple.

It’s not that horrifying (even though I can’t eat cake… I’ll give you a minute to get over it). In fact, I’ve never felt better (aside from the aching muscles from running). You all know that cutting carbs cuts out the bloated tummy, right? Well, that’s pretty much all that gluten is! The only carbs I can eat are potatoes and rice really.

There are some lovely gluten-free products – they are all sweet things though, which does get frustrating when actually you want something savoury – and despite the expense, a lot of them are pretty damn tasty.

Tips to eating gluten-free

  1. Eat anything Mrs Crimbles – it’s all good (though high on the calorie count)
  2. Avoid most gluten-free breads unless you toast it. The best to choose is Genius seeded bread*
  3. Avoid pretty much all the Warburtons stuff, apart from the muffins – they’re ridiculously good
  4. Don’t overcook gluten-free pasta – it turns to mush
  5. Dry biscuits like shortbread are your best bet, but if you’re having cookies, leave them to soften a couple of days and they’re better. Oh, and never dip into tea. Disasters all around
  6. Check all sauces – gluten is hidden in the most ridiculous places
  7. Yes, even chips (fries for you American folks) and soups have gluten. Check!
  8. Order your food shop online. It’s got better ranges than most shops
  9. Don’t bother “grabbing a bite to eat” from the Food to Go shelves. None of it’s gluten free – unless you’re on a fruit-only diet
  10. Buy yourself ground almonds to use in baking – and eat at once (gluten-free stuff doesn’t last overnight, trust me)

*If you, like me, love eggy bread, make it with supermarket-own white bread, which usually comes in vacuum-packed bags.

Some questions you will get when you go gluten-free

  1. Can you eat peanut butter?
  2. Does that mean you can’t eat cake?
  3. What about pasta/noodles?
  4. Can you… like… eat Weetabix?
  5. Is this okay for you? (this is a repeated question – all the time in fact)
  6. Could you die if you ate bread?
  7. If I gave you Β£50, would you eat some of this pizza?
  8. What about cheese?
  9. What do you do without cake!?
  10. What’s gluten? (It’s more worrying when you hear this from a waitress you’re ordering dinner from)

You’ll also get called celeriac (IT’S COELIAC**!)Β an awful lot and be asked if you’ve been gluten-free all your life whenever you mention it (no, I haven’t I’m afraid).

So there you have it; I’m gluten-free. Welcome to the gluten-free life.

Now I’m off to chow down on some gluten-free cherry bakewells.

**Pronounced see-lee-ack

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “The Gluten-free Life

  1. Dan

    Celeriac is a type of celery!

    The newest Warburtons bread is not as bad as their initial efforts. The muffins *are* good!!

    The “organic” GF pasta, usually in brown bags, holds up best for us, it even stands up to a bit of overcooking if you forget about it πŸ™‚ Much much better than the normal GF bags.

    It angers me that gluten is in 90% of soups.

    • Tell me about it! I think they don’t heard the word properly. That’s good to know about pasta – I’ve yet to find one that isn’t ever so slightly on the sweet side. And it angers me about the soups too. Especially because it’s in mushroom soup and chicken soup and they were my favourites!

  2. Lisa

    Ahh, the gf life! I’m gonna expand on your post if that’s okay!

    Dietary Specials is also good stuff. They do the BEST thin pizza, the Italian one (very much like Ristorante). I’ve only found it in Asda so far, though.
    Amy’s Kitchen are also very good, again Asda do a good range of their stuff. (Frozen mac n cheese, lasagne, risotto, etc. Healthy and natural.)
    Check all soup tins and learn which ones can be your go-to flavours!
    Funny, I didn’t get on with the Genius seeded, I found it too dry. I like the brown or white bread better, and they now have two versions – original and ‘sandwich’ loaf.
    Tesco mini Ciabatta rolls are tasty!
    Yes, Warburtons muffins are YUMMY!!!
    Best pasta is the Doves Farm organic stuff, cooks just fine! Does take a few minutes less, say closer to 8 minutes rather than 11.
    Asda’s own gf lemon shortbread is OMGAMAZING.
    Genius lemon and raisin pancakes. FINALLY I HAVE THEM AGAIN! ❀
    Yes, flour is in everything sadly 😦 To thicken sauces, to coat frozen chips so they don't stick, it's in flavourings on crisps… Makes shopping a chore, to put it finely!
    You can buy gf flour, Doves Farm, should be on the Free From shelf. I use it in everything as a straight forward replacement for normal flour, and my baked goods last as long as anything else. Well actually that's not true, because gf baked goods are FAR tastier than normal. Lighter, fluffier… TASTIER!
    Don't bother trying to bake bread or pizza, though. Seriously, just save yourself hours of heartache.
    EGGY BREAD! I had a total craving for this the other day, you've just reminded me! πŸ˜€

    My favourite was from my sister. Telling her I couldn't eat anything gf so she was going to bake me a gf cake. Bought gf flour and everything… And then put in normal biscuits! "What, it's in biscuits as well?" Bless 'em, they're slowly getting used to it now and my mother-in-law even made me gf Yorkshire puds last Sunday! ❀

    • Oh bless! I think it’s just one of those things people don’t normally think about, and when they do it’s always a surprise how MUCH stuff has gluten in it. Good tips as well by the way – I do use Doves Farm flour as it lasts longer, but I also like the moisture and texture adding ground almonds have. I need to send you a good recipe for a vanilla and chocolate cake by the way! And go get yourself some eggy bread – STAT! It’s my hangover cure (that, and a chocolate Yazoo).

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